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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Northern California Blues Festival

Northern California Blues Festival Artwork
11th Annual Northern California Blues Festival Over 2 Days, August 5th & 6th;
Guitar Aces Kenny Neal, Dennis Jones, Carolyn Wonderland; And Iconic Big Brother & The Holding Company, Headline Family-Friendly Auburn, CA Event

Benefits Auburn Recreation District Youth Fund (And) Blues In The Schools Program; Strong Lineup Of Supporting Acts Include Mick Martin & the Blues Rockers; Bay Area Blues Society Caravan Of All-Stars; The Jeff Watson Band W/ Daniel Castro; The Soulshakers; Co-Winners Of The Next Breakout Band Competition For Musicians 25 And Younger -  Todd Morgan & The Emblems (&) Population 5; and The Soulshakers  

      (AUBURN, Calif.) -   Get ready for one of California's biggest Family-Friendly Blues events of the Summer - the 11th Annual Northern California Blues Festival, Friday, August 5 (5-10 p.m.) and Saturday, August 6 (11 a.m.-10 p.m.) at the Auburn Regional Park, 3770 Richardson Dr. (off Highway 49 at Dry Creek Rd.), Auburn. Tickets: Friday - $7 advance/$10 gate (12 & under), $25 advance/$30 gate (General Admission); $65 advance/ $80 gate (V.I.P.); Saturday - $8 advance/$10 gate (12 and under), $33 advance/$40 gate (General Admission); $97 advance/$120 gate (V.I.P.). Weekend Pass - $12 advance/$15 gate (12 and under), $55 advance/$60 gate (General Admission), $150 advance/$180 gate (V.I.P.). More ticket info. available at  V.I.P. level ticket holders will have full access to air-conditioned cocktail lounge, shaded seating, meet-and-greet opportunities with the performing artists in the V.I.P. Lounge Area, and more. Portions of the proceeds benefit both the Auburn Recreation District Youth Assistance Fund and the Sacramento Blues Society's  Blues In The Schools program. Four twin-tower misting fans with large outdoor "cool-down" areas; huge arts and crafts (and) food vendors area; and free Kids Zone with water rides on Saturday (no kids Zone on Friday night). $4 parking at Parkside Church across the street from the Festival. Info: (916) 350-4640 log onto  
     Blues guitar lovers will be in virtual 7th Heaven with the headlining appearances of Kenny Neal, Dennis Jones, and Carolyn Wonderland. Kenny Neal, former 2008 Blues Music Association "Song of the Year" winner for "Let Life Flow" (Blind Pig), honed his skills from a young age in Baton Rouge, La under the watchful eye of his dad, noted blues vocalist-harpist, Raful Neal. The swamp-blues guitar master has come all the way back from a debilitating illness several years ago and has just released a new CD (his seventeenth!), "Hooked On Your Love." 
     Carolyn Wonderland brings her Texas-style guitar-istry to the NCBF. Possessing a vocal style reminiscent of Janis Joplin and a guitar style that brings fellow Texan (and late great) Stevie Ray Vaughan to mind, the Houston-born and-bred Wonderland began playing at the ripe young age of 15 and, in time, became a regular performer at storied Austin, TX venue, Antone's. Carolyn's music has aired on TV shows "Time Of Your Life" and "Homicide;" she has toured with Johnny Winter and Buddy Guy, among others. Her latest CD is  "Miss Understood." 
    Proudly representing the Southern Calif. Blues scene is the Dennis Jones Band. Seamlessly blending the Blues with a touch of R&B and Motown, Jones has been playing since the age of 13. "Jones revels in a passionate and fresh approach to the blues," states San Diego Blues Society President and former San Diego Tribune writer, Michael Kinsman. "He brandishes his guitar with flair, his vocals are creative and self-assured while his songwriting has taken a big step forward. This is clearly an evolved and self-realized Dennis Jones." The guitar slinger's latest CD is titled "Pleasure & Pain."
       The word "iconic" is not to be taken lightly, but in the case of Big Brother & The Holding Company, this term most assuredly applies. Coming from the same fledgling psychedelic San Francisco scene that produced the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Jefferson Airplane, BB&THC was formed in 1965 by Sam Andrew, Pete Albin, James Gurley and Chuck Jones. Their first gig was in 1966 at the Open Theater in Berkeley, Calif.; the real "Big Brother" (the person who gave the group its name) was Chet Helms - who had an old friend that joined the band, and went by the name of...Janis Joplin.  After releasing 1968's chart-topping album "Cheap Thrills," Big Brother (later joined by drummer David Getz, who replaced Jones) experienced a brief parting-of-the-ways and then reunited. BB&THC have for the most part been performing throughout the world ever since, pioneering a musical style that co-founder Andrew creatively labeled "progressive-regressive hurricane blues." No doubt the NCBF crowd on Friday night will be singing en masse along to their numerous classics including "Down On Me," "Coo Coo," "Ball And Chain" and many more.

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